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Homelessness: Prevention and Intervention Teaching Module

This mini-module, based upon a 52-minute movie, “To Be Old, Black, and Poor,” offers a focus on intergenerational programming. It also includes discussion points, and a reference list of required and recommended readings. This module is designed to explore the risks, resiliencies, and special service needs of older people from an intergenerational, person-in-environment perspective. It looks at the connection of these risks to other “categories” of concern to social workers – family dynamics, co-occurring disorders, trauma, health, service system integration, and community development. Discussion topics include causes of homelessness, special needs of elders, barriers to finding services, inability to increase income through work, gender differences, lack of social support, higher need to focus on medical issues, increased case management, lack of mobility or transportation, shelters that are not set up for older adults, and the lower likelihood of accessing resources through the Internet.

Competencies Addressed in This Module:

  1. Respect for and promotion of older adult clients’ right to dignity and self-determination within the context of the law and safety concerns.
  2. Respect for diversity of class, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation among older adult clients, families, and professionals.
  3. Use of empathy and sensitive interviewing skills such as: reminiscence or life review, support groups, and counseling to assess the social functioning, social skills, social activity level, and social support of older adults.